As you guys probably already know, 60 Minutes on CBS did a real nice 12 minute piece on Mikhail Prokhorov. It is interesting to see how he came about his fortune (he makes it seem so simple), but there is some real good Nets’ related stuff in the beginning and at the end (you even see him working out in Nets’ gear). The video of the whole thing is below, and check after the jump for my thoughts on the whole situation.
I know a lot of people have been really excited about the change in ownership, and I am too. The biggest change Prokhorov is going to represent is in ownership’s feeling about the team. I have never met Bruce Ratner, but with what I have read about him and heard (interviews and such), it becomes apparent that putting a winning product on the court isn’t the top priority. He feels like the Nets are an investment first and foremost, and he runs the team in that way. Whether it be not going into the luxury tax or refusing to pay for two coaches salaries (which is what would have happened if Lawrence Frank was fired before the season), Ratner is the type of owner who looks to spend as little as possible. That’s his priority, and in the end he is the one who payed for them and he can run the team however he likes (I might be in the minority there).
However, everything that I have heard from Mikhail Prokhorov makes me believe that he will be more like Mark Cuban than Donald Sterling. Prokhorov has already run a successful basketball organization, and he is a true sports fan. As he puts it, “I am addicted to sport. Without sport, I feel bad.” He sounds like more of a fan than an owner and that really excites me. Money doesn’t seem like it will be an issue; as he told “60 Minutes” correspondent Steve Kroft, “It doesn’t drive me to count money.”
Prokhorov’s main goal is to put a winner out there, and in the end that is what makes me excited about the future for the New Jersey Nets. “I am really excited to take the worst team in the league and make it the best.” I can’t wait for this move to become official.